Julian Wilson, from Coolum Beach, Queensland, takes out his first win of the year at the Billabong Pro at Teahupo'o.
Julian Wilson, from Coolum Beach, Queensland, takes out his first win of the year at the Billabong Pro at Teahupo'o. WSL/POULLENOT

Surfscene with Andy Mac: Wilson takes out Chopes

vanessa.horstman

BOTH the women's and men's world title race is now wide open heading into Lower Trestles, San Clemente, California.

The women's world title race is somewhat closer compared to the men's, which has the top seven in contention.

Six-time women's world champion Stephanie Gilmore, who kicked off the year with a sensational win at Snapper Rocks, has slipped down the ratings to fourth after an early round loss at Huntington Beach.

Although Steph could take some comfort with women's ratings leader Tyler Wight and number two Sally Fitzgibbons losing in the quarter finals.

Number three, California's Courtney Conlogue, faired better at her home break with a semi-final finish but carries two equal ninths that has kept Conlogue in third.

Both Tyler and Sally are in the box seat going into Lower Trestles and will be great to see Steph throw caution to the wind and reproduce her world champion form.

Women's Ratings after Huntington

  • Tyler Wright 41,400
  • Sally Fitzgibbons 39,900
  • Courtney Conlogue 38,300
  • Stephanie Gilmore 34,750

Meanwhile, this year's men's world title race has more contenders than ever in the history of professional surfing with seven different winners from the last seven World Surf League events.

This is unprecedented and opens up the world title to whoever has the least bad throwaways in their score line.

A competitor is allowed to drop their two lowest places.

The other side of the equation is whoever of the top seven can string together more than one win will take a hold on the ratings.

When Joel Parkinson won his maiden World Title in 2012 he had yet to post a win all year, but was a model of consistency throughout the season.

When he was announced world champion, Parko went on to win Pipe.

But this year is so different and it will come down to Pipeline to decide the world title unless one of the "magnificent seven” can achieve more than one win.

After Trestles, it's down to France, Portugal and Hawaii and unless someone wins as many as three events, this world title will be decided at the Banzai Pipeline, due to be held from December 8-20.

South Africa's Jordy Smith is now the new ratings leader after reaching the semi-finals at Teahupo'o.

South Africa's Jordy Smith has taken the world title ratings lead after reaching the semi-finals at Teahupo'o.
South Africa's Jordy Smith has taken the world title ratings lead after reaching the semi-finals at Teahupo'o. WSL/POULLENOT

Smith finished number two last year behind Hawaii's John John Florence and conceded he is still learning from the likes of Kelly Slater.

Meanwhile, the only guy to lament the King's unavailability for Tahiti was the injured wildcard Nat Young, who had a ding dong battle with John John Florence in round three but was unsuccessful in causing an upset.

Men after Tahiti

  • Jordy Smith
  • John John Florence
  • Matt Wilkinson
  • Owen Wright
  • Julian Wilson
  • Adriano de Souza
  • Gabriel Medina


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